Colouring-in for Grown-Ups

I don’t know how I feel about the complete, crazy, mad explosion in colouring-in books for grown-ups suddenly available. On the one hand I used to rather enjoy colouring-in myself and on the other it smacks of the kind of fad only rivalled by the done to death business that was Loom bands, and that kind of makes my head ache.

My main beef with the colouring book phenomenon is the very notion that they are books at all! Have a look at  the crafts, hobbies and home sections on Amazon and you will discover that not only are there all manner of images to colour in (from owls, to cityscapes, mandalas and zen patterns: all purporting to help you to colour your way to a stress free life!), but that proper books have apparently ceased to exist and the only books apparently being bought are of the colouring variety.

It’s driving me nuts. No really: absolutely nuts. I have even stopped colouring in myself in a kind of ludicrous protest, that will do absolutely nothing to halt the rampage, but merely deprives me of the kind of small pleasure I used to occasionally indulge in – if only to prove to myself that a modicum of the artist I once was still existed in my world-weary soul.

What once was an activity mostly reserved for children who need the boundaries not drawing outside the lines provides, has become the opium for the masses of grown-women apparently stressed to the hilt.

But we are not children.

Instead I think that we are turning in to the most awful kind of sheeple. We clip the same things on Pinterest all day every day. We jump on mad bandwagons just because everybody else is. We share “motivational” rants over and over again on Facebook.

We share and pin and colour in! But we don’t do the work.

We don’t bake the cakes. We don’t absorb the words we are so quick to share, and we don’t sit down quietly and remember to simply be: an act that would render us calm far sooner than acquiring all the nonsense we need to indulge in yet another hobby designed to reduce our stress.

We need to learn to sit still: without a smartphone or a pencil in our hands. To just sit with our stress, our grief, our pain or anything else that troubles us enough to fuel the need to switch off.

To just sit. Without busy hands or a busy mind.